Scott Weiland was born on October 27, 1967, in Santa Cruz, California. However, he lived just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, until he was fifteen years old. Afterward, he moved back to California, joining the emerging Orange County punk scene. Weiland founded the group Mighty Joe Young with guitarist Robert DeLeo in 1989. Yet, before releasing their first album, they changed their name to Stone Temple Pilots after the STP Motor Oil Logo. In 1992, the group released their freshman album, Crush. Stone Temple Pilot’s second album, Purple, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Charts. The group was among the most famous groups of the 90s grunge scene, including Nirvana and Pearl Jam. However, drug and alcohol problems plagued Weiland. After the group’s first album, his heroin addiction surfaced. After finishing rehab, he joined Stone Temple Pilots in the recording studio for their third album, Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop. Unfortunately, the group couldn’t start their tour because Weiland’s addiction issues had gotten worse.
In 1998, Scott Weiland released his first solo album, 12 Bar Blues. Devoted fans and some critics loved the album, but it did not perform well on the charts and only had one hit song; Barbarella. Although many people thought that Stone Temple Pilots were through, the group reunited in 1999, recording No. 4. Several hit songs on this album, including Sour Girl, were thought to be about Scott Weiland’s divorce. The group recorded one more album, Shangri-La Dee Da, before disbanding in 2003.
Guns N’ Roses and Wasted Youth asked him to be the lead singer for projects they were working on, but he declined. However, after Stone Temple Pilots called it quit in 2003, Weiland decided to sign on and Velvet Revolver. The group released their first album, Contraband, in 2004, which debuted at number 1 on Billboard. However, by their second album Libertad, Weiland’s addiction issues were becoming more problematic. He went to another treatment facility after a DUI. Yet, he was unable to get sober. Since he was no longer performing with Velvet Revolver, he joined Stone Temple Pilot’s reunion tour in 2008, lasting until 2013. Along with the group’s tour, Weiland also released his second solo album, “Happy” In Galoshes. After the group’s final split, he began focusing more on his group, The Wildabouts. In 2013, The Wildabouts did a tour called Purple at the Core, covering songs from Weiland’s Stone Temple Pilot days. In 2015, The Wildabouts released their fourth studio album, Blaster.
On December 3, 2015, he died of an accidental drug overdose in Minnesota while on tour. Rolling Stone published a posthumous essay written by Mary Forsberg Weiland, his second wife, and their children Noah and Lucy, her words spoke not so much to the singer, but the powerful hold addiction had on him. Forsberg Weiland wrote about all the times she sobered him up, even after the dissolution of their marriage. She watched him crumble and turn into someone she didn’t recognize. Even though she wished the best for him, it was at the expense of her own mental health. One of the most profound lines is, “This is the final step in our long goodbye to Scott. Even though I felt we had no other choice, maybe we never should have let him go. Or maybe these last few years of separation were his parting gift to us – the only way he could think to soften what he knew would one day crush us deep into our souls.” Scott Weiland’s death was another tragic example of how many musicians lose their lives to addiction. Much like Kurt Cobain, he left behind a legacy of talented musicianship. Even though Weiland died, there was one more chapter. During his career, headlines portrayed him as a talented musician and addicted. However, there was another side of the singer still untold.
A new biopic
On June 28, 2021, loudwire wrote an article about a soon-to-be-released Scott Weiland biopic. Dark Pictures acquired rights to the singer’s memoir “Not Dead & Not For Sale.” Jennifer Erwin, a huge fan of Stone Temple Pilots, is slated to write the script for the movie. When asked about the project, Erwin said, “It’s an honor to have the trust to tell Scott’s story and the ability to portray the lesser-known sides of him – the loving and tender man he was, the high school athlete he was, the melancholy soul he was and the legendary frontman that he will always be,”
According to Variety, the project’s working title is Paper Heart. They want to balance the addiction issues and the incredible artistry in his songwriting and singing career. As they start the project, they want to ensure that his story is told from his memoir and the people closest to him. Additionally, his problems with drugs and alcohol will play a massive part in the film. Many c0-creators of the project feel that Weiland’s childhood played a huge role in his later struggles with addiction, an issue that resonates with many fans. There will be previously unleased music in the movie, which was the legacy Weiland left behind, although his career was cut short by addiction.
David Vigliano, the manager of Scott Weiland’s estate, was asked why now on this biopic when many offers had been previously turned down. His response was simple, “when this team came to us with their vision for a film, it felt right.” Although it is always difficult to look at the lives of singers whose talents were lost to addiction, finding the right team to bring their story to life allows those stories to be told and a new generation of fans to embrace a singer whose music they may well have missed. This project is also a way for the fans who loved him to see another side of a talented musician gone too soon.